In Our Next Life - [Revised]A Story by Vincent Ezra Von'Lambert
This is a short monologue-style writing done for my C.W. class. I find the characters to be fairly deep and intriguing (how snobby does that sound??) . This is told from the boys (Hiei) point of view.
In Our Next Life
By Holly May
Do you remember, Tagome?
You asked me once, around our first Christmas together, if I believed in heaven.
I scoffed at the idea of heaven….it was irrational. Heaven was supposed to be a beautiful place, full of wonder and peace. Something like that is far too perfect to exist in a world like ours. When I think about it, back then I even thought you were to perfect to exist.
I had rationality behind it, you know. You were to perfect...too good, too kind. You’re heart seemed to have never ending depth to it. There was nothing you couldn’t forgive, nothing you couldn’t look past and no one you weren’t willing to give a second, sometimes a third and fourth, chance to. I can still here your voice, echoing in my head and reciting that silly phrase.
“Forgive and forget, right?” you would say with a laugh and a smile. You would offer the offender your hand and instantly, you forgave them. I always watched with skepticism, and only once did I ever question it.
“Forgive if you must,” I had said to you. “But don’t go forgetting about it. They could just do it again!”
You were shaking your head at me before I had even finished the statement.
“Telling someone that you’ll forgive them, but never forget what they have done is just another way of saying ‘I’m not going to forgive you’.” You said, raising your eyes to meet my gaze. There was a gentle fire burning in them as you spoke. “Forgiveness is like....an eraser. You simply erase the mistake; brush the bits of rubber off of your paper so that it can never be mentioned against someone again.”
“But, even if you did that,” I argued, playing along with the analogy you had given me. “You’d still be able to see the bits of lead that the pencil couldn’t erase. What would you do then?”
“You need a better eraser,” you said, wrinkling your nose. “Mine doesn’t leave bits of lead on paper.”
With this logic, you forgave everything I did. Every wrong deed done, every act of cruelty committed and every insensitive thing ever said, were all subjected to and removed with whatever magical eraser you were using.
You still maintained that you cared about me.
I admit it...I was impressed with how you persevered through everything and still were able to stand in front of me and claim that you loved me. I had often thought of myself as unlovable. Certainly no one could ever love me, with everything I had done.
But you did.
It was impossible to care about a monster…but you did it. And the more you declared your love, the more you opened up to me and told me that you, even if the rest of the world had turned on me, you would be there...The more that you did these things...the more I believed you. And why wouldn’t I believe you?
You proved it countless times.
Over and over again, defending me with everything you had, giving me everything you were, and holding me when things were bad. The day that you finally saw the way I was treated by my family...the way you cried that night, claiming that you were crying out all the tears I was too stubborn to cry myself.
You almost died for me, even…and never thought twice about it. I remember you rushing into my arms with the audacity to ask if I was okay, burns covering your arms and blood running from the many cuts on your hands.
You did it because you loved me…and because you said you would do anything for the one you loved.
I still have a hard time believing that one was me.
And what a pair we made to. The warrior and the empath; the hardened fighter, and the gentle emotion twister.
So…after scoffing at the idea of heaven, you asked me if I believed in hell, for surely if there was a hell…there had to be a heaven to balance it.
I thought about that one for a moment. I had often pictured my father burning in hell for what he’s done to me…to my family…to my mother…
But, if I were to admit that I believed in hell I would, by logical reasoning, have to admit that there was a heaven as well. And since heaven was too prefect to exist, I, yet again, shook my head and told you how silly you were.
You smiled at me and brushed it off, telling me you didn’t really believe in heaven anyways.
You told me that you believed in reincarnation.
You said that you believed that once you were gone, you would be reborn into another life…completely different from this one…and not remember a thing. Your soul wouldn’t die, or move towards a light in the sky. You said that you would just transfer bodies and be born anew.
I told you, again, how silly you were.
I never called you stupid…except for when we had just met. Because, Tagome, you aren’t stupid.
No one thinks you’re smart, like Yugi and Jones are….and no one thinks you’re useful like Yumi and Kitty are…but you ARE smart…and you ARE useful.
You made everyone think. Think of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, if it was worth it or not….
But more than that…you made me realize something important: I’m not weak.
I told you at the time…that I didn’t believe in reincarnation. I didn’t believe, because it was silly and absurd.
But, once you made me think about it, it made sense.
And now, almost a full two years later, we’re standing on the docks on the bays of Keenadam, almost a full seventy miles from where we’ve lived together. It’s so hard to believe that we lived all that time together, and until this moment I never really appreciated having you around to look after me. I remember being so angry at the idea of having to live with someone else.
I’m looking into your smiling face, and getting ready to say goodbye. I’ve been here for so long, been with you for so long, that I’m unsure of what I’m going to do without you. But this is why I came here. I came to this island to free myself. And now that I’ve done that, it’s time for me to leave.
I think about all the other times that you’ve convinced me to stay, begging me for just another day with you, so that you could say goodbye. And somewhere in that day, you would convince me to stay with you. You would convince me that I wasn’t done yet, that there was more I could do and more I could learn...and of course, you were right.
I was always able to beat you in matters of logic and reasoning, in matters of fighting and in matters of strategy...but I will never be able to match you in matters of the heart.
I can see that in your eyes, those deep chocolate colored orbs that so many take solace in, you’re holding it back. Trying harder than I’ve ever seen you try at anything, to hold back tears. They shimmer on the edges of your lashes, but somehow, you have convinced your body not to let them fall. And as confused as I want to pretend to be, I know why you’re doing this.
You want me to go. Not to leave you, but to be happy. There could be no other intention with you. You want me to go...and you’re afraid that if I see you cry I’ll stay with you again. Do you think that you hold me back? I want to open my mouth and tell you that that isn’t the case, but my mouth won’t move.
I look at you, memorizing your face for fear I might never see it again. As I move over your eyes again, I see something familiar; the gentle fire has returned to your eyes. The look on your face is more determined than pained.
You’re not crying, so that when I get on that ship and take my last look at you, I’ll still think that you’re strong.
You’ve always been trying to prove it to people. Prove that you’re strong enough to be one of us, despite how soft your personality is.
Even before I knew you could fight, even before I saw the saw you moved and twirled with the naginata...I did not once think you were weak.
Maybe the way you move and act isn’t useful in a fight, and sometimes your refusal to use any of your talent with a sword against someone else in battle was insanely annoying, but that wasn’t what you cared about.
You were very different from most of us with the way you avoided the battle that all of us craved. You looked almost sad when we all fought, and we all thought it was because you were just a sensitive girl, who couldn’t handle the brutality of battle.
But that wasn’t it at all.
Outside of the battle, the rest of us were nothing. Fighting was all we could handle, so we threw ourselves into the battle, craving it more than anything, just for the rush of power to let us know we were alive.
Though all of us were relentless in our need to continually tell you how useless it was to manipulate the emotions of another, I never truly thought that. I was always impressed, the way you could tilt your head a certain way, look into someone’s eyes and completely possess what they felt. And I always secretly loved the way you tamed the beasts that we fought instead of killing them.
And despite the fact that we would tell you that you were useless and worth next to nothing on the battlefield, I think…we were all jealous of you.
If you’ve taught me anything...it’s that a person, no matter how much they want to, cannot live they’re whole life in a battle. They are eventually going to have to stop, and think of who they are and what they’ve become.
And once all of our fighting stopped, none of us could look at ourselves. Without the battle, we felt empty. You were the only one able to pick yourself back up and move yourself forward. Only you were able to look at your enemy, and forgive him, asking for his forgiveness in return.
I wish you knew how much strength that took.
I watch your lower lip shake and I realize how much I love you…how much I always have…how much I always will…
The damage I’ve done to you is unforgivable…yet as I look at you, into your chocolate eyes that make the sun itself dim, you’ve already forgiven me for it.
I believe in reincarnation…..
More than I ever have believed in anything, I believe in reincarnation. I believe because I really want it to be true.
I want to live another lifetime, Tagome.
I want to live a lot of other lifetimes…Lifetimes not like this...
I want a mother, and a good father, and my older siblings to care about me again.
I’d like to have a family that supports and loves.
And I want you to be in all of them, Tagome.
And next lifetime, maybe things will be better. Next time, we’ll be normal people, with normal lives and problems. You won’t have to comfort me all the time and I won’t be such a monster.
We won’t be orphans, either,.
We’ll have nice families who will care for us and make sure that we’re always alright. People to call and worry about us, and to tell us they love us…like you always tell me.
And next lifetime, I’ll tell you something I’ve never been able to tell you. I could never make myself say it because I was too scared. Something I might never get to tell you this lifetime.
I don’t have your courage. I don't think anyone does. Things like this are harder for me to say out loud, and for that I am sorry.
But, in our next life, I promise that I’ll tell you how sorry I am for every terrible thing I’ve ever done to you. I’ll tell you how strong you are, how brave you are, how much I appreciate and treasure you...
How much I love you.
Tagome, I wonder something; if you've loved someone fiercely in one lifetime, loved them so much that it seemed impossible to breathe, loved them so much it seemed like you would burst with that love. If you love someone like you love me...would you remember that person in the next lifetime?
But, even though I wonder this, I don't want to remember.
Because next lifetime I probably won't be as hardened as I am in this one. I don’t want to remember all the terrible things that you and I have watched and seen, or any of the awful things we had to endure.
It feels weird to think about how I'll be like next lifetime...
Will I be a completely different person?
Will you be a completely different person?
No…because if I have learned anything in my time here, it’s that you are the most constant and steady of all of us. You were always the one voice telling us to hold on, no matter how much the world raged at us to let go.
And suddenly…I realize that maybe I won’t love you in this next lifetime…
But I don't want to think like that. I will love you. I have to love you next lifetime.
Even if you don't love me back.
I'll have to love you with all my heart to make up for what I've done this lifetime...
I brush a strand of your black hair behind your ear, the only gesture of affection I’ve ever been able to show you. You move your mouth to speak, but nothing comes out; the tears that cling to your eyelashes waiver and threaten to fall.
I lean forward, desperate to show you some bit of affection that isn’t casual, desperate to show you some form of affection that will ease the pain of our goodbye. I push a leather gloved hand into your hair and twine the locks around my fingers, inhaling the scent that is completely you; the lavender shampoo and something peaceful and unique.
Tilting your head to side, I gently kiss your temple. Pulling back, I remove my hand from your hair slowly, savoring this moment of closeness. You grab my hand as I go to pick up my sword, and pull it close to your chest before lifting it to your mouth and kissing the palm. You whisper something I don’t here and release my hand, eyes focused on the ground.
I grab my sword, the one you had made for me, and turn away from you, walking up the ramp onto the ship. I wander the deck aimlessly for a moment, overwhelmed, before I wander to the starboard side to look at you. The ramp is withdrawn. The ship is leaving soon, and still your do not let the tears fall.
Are you saving your pleas for the last moment?
When the ship pulls away, will you begin begging me to stay with you? How long can you do this, Tagome?
How long can you hold on like this?
The ship begins to pull away, and you begin to wave. I give a brief wave back, and you smile widely.
“Bye honey!” you call out. “Please be safe! Take good care of yourself!” I stiffen, bracing myself, ready to endure your pleas, but they never come. Instead, you say something a thousand times worse…
“I love you!”
I turn around to avoid seeing your face, the face that will convince me to stay yet again, and I try to steel myself away from your voice; the voice that has made my nightmares calm themselves, the voice that can chase away pain and fear and doubt….
We were such a fairytale, you used to say. Like Beauty and the Beast; through your love my heart would heal. The empath and the warrior.
I’m sorry that that couldn’t be us.
As I turn, I feel a ripping pain in my chest. I gasp and grip the fabric of my jacket tightly. The further the boat drifts…the more intense the pain becomes. It feels like I’m dying...
But I do not turn around, though I still here your voice calling out to me. Belle calling to the Beast. The empath calling sweet words of farewell to her warrior.
I feel my eyes widen. This isn’t my pain at all.
This is your pain…isn’t it, Tagome?
This feeling that my heart was going to rip itself in two…is yours.
And it’s my fault. This is how I’m going to leave you; on the docks, forcing yourself to smile and wave at me, while your heart rips in half.
And it occurs to me…Why?
Why do I have to run from you? Why can’t I just be with you?
The pain intensifies and I sink to my knees. My vision begins to tunnel in and out. I hear people shouting, but their voices are dulled. Someone grabs my shoulder. But the only voice I can hear is yours; words that you’ve said over the past two years, everything significant and everything meaningless, echoing in my mind.
Why can’t….we have that ‘next lifetime’….now?
Why wait until the next lifetime?
I feel the world growing darker until it all goes black.
Don’t we have this one still?
© 2010 Vincent Ezra Von'Lambert
Vincent Ezra Von'Lambert
AboutI noramally write fantasy novels, but I like using my own characters more than other peoples (and that's not to say i havent' read quite a few good fanfictions!). Ummm....I sometimes like to co-write .. more..